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Winter census

To determine the population size of the cranes in Hokkaido, we carry out a census every winter.

The first census was conducted by the Hokkaido government in 1952. The census, involving local school children, has been a great success and has been carried out annually.
We have been conducting an independent census annually since 1985. Our aim is to carry out a comprehensive and consistent census.

Why in winter?
The cranes spend the winter months in small groups to large flocks (of more than a hundred birds) at feeding stations and other areas where it is relatively easy for us to observe birds.

Challenges
Birds in a flock seldom stand still for a long enough time. Moreover, some birds may arrive or fly away during a census of a flock.


More challenges
During the census, volunteers stand in snow in subzero temperatures all day long.

Rewards
Participating in the census is a great way to get to know the cranes. During the census, one is likely to witness graceful dances and other interesting behaviors of the cranes.

Get involved
We are able to continue our winter census because of our dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in participating, please
contact us.

Findings
The census provides vital information for planning conservation actions.


The red-crowned crane is one of a small handful of wildlife species in Japan for which there are reasonably accurate estimates of population size over many years. With the accurate estimates of the population size, we are able to make effective plans for conservation of the species.


Red-crowned Crane ConservancyRed-crowned Crane Conservancy


9-21 Wakatake-cho, Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-0036 JAPAN